Female Genital Warts


Female genital warts are an embarrassing and painful condition caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection called HPV (human papillomavirus). Though there are 100 different types of HPV, two of them are responsible for genital warts on a female.

How does a female get genital warts?
  • Sexual contact is the most common way to transmit female genital warts.
  • Oral sex can also transmit HPV, but research shows that the virus "prefers" genital tissues to those of the mouth.
  • Vertical transmission occurs when a mother passes the virus and genital warts to her baby during birth.
  • Auto (self) transmission can occur from one site to another on a woman.
  • Fomites: the virus may be passed from an object (like a bath towel or toilet seat) to the woman, though research has not proven this theory.


HPV and genital warts are highly contagious; in fact, 2/3 of female get genital warts within 3 months if they have sexual contact with someone else who has genital warts.

On which body parts does a female get genital warts?
  • Vulva
  • Perineum
  • Anus
  • Vagina
  • Cervix
Can a female get genital warts and still become pregnant?
Research shows that having genital warts does not affect fertility, or in any way reduce a woman's chance of becoming pregnant. However, having genital warts during pregnancy can have serious ramifications, including:
  • Pregnancy may cause female genital warts to flare up, making urination difficult and painful.
  • Some prescription medications are harmful for a fetus and cannot be safely used during pregnancy.
  • If warts inside the vagina get large, they may prevent the birth canal tissues from stretching, thus inhibiting the baby's decent during birth.
  • Though very rare, genital warts can be passed from a mother to her baby; the warts may show up on the baby in the throat or on the genitals.


Female genital warts can be prevented. The best method is not to have sex. However, if you are sexually active, an effective way to lower the risk of contracting HPV and genital warts is to have sex only with one partner whom you know does not carry the infection.

Another way to prevent female genital warts is through the Gardasil vaccine. This vaccine has been approved by the FDA to prevent the types of HPV that cause 90% of female genital warts.

Can a female get genital warts, and successfully treat them? The answer to this question is yes -- there are many different treatment options available - though these vary in effectiveness and risk level. The goal of treatment for genital warts on a female is to eliminate physical and psychological symptoms, including:

Prescription medications for genital warts:

Other treatments:

Though many cases of genital warts on a female cure themselves, if you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:

More than female genital warts on our warts and corns page

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